Experience the wonder of a total solar eclipse in 2019, 2020 and 2021
Hunting for the next solar eclipse? Here's where to find one!
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The ultimate bucket list brag is to say you've seen something few have ever witnessed before. Surely that means a total solar eclipse, an event that happens infrequently and is only visible within a 100km radius on Earth, is one of the best bucket list brags of all time? Here's how you can catch the next few.
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon through its orbit is positioned between Earth and the Sun, blocking the sunlight for a few minutes. Stock-standard eclipses, where the moon partially blocks the Sun (known as partial or annular eclipses) can happen up to a few times a year, but a total solar eclipse is rare.
2018 saw much of the US fall under what's known as the "path of totality" for a total solar eclipse. That's where the eclipse is at its most pronounced. It's very brief, given that the moon travels at over 3,600km/h and the viewing area is very small.
So with that in mind, where will you need to be over the next few years to get the best view of an eclipse? You're in luck: there's one total solar eclipse a year in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Eclipses in 2019
2019 features a total solar eclipse, set to pass over Chile and Argentina on 2 July.
The best places to view from Chile will be in La Serena and La Higuera. In Argentina, your best bets will be in San Una, San Luis, Córdoba, Santa Fe and Buenos Aires.
You'll need to be quick with your camera, though: totality will only last for 4.5 minutes!
While the best views (on dry land) will be from Chile and Argentina, you'll still be able to catch a glimpse of it from French Polynesia and the Pitcairn Islands.
Can't make that? Maybe try again in 2020!
Eclipses in 2020
"I saw a total solar eclipse in 2020" sounds like something that would blow the mind of your younger self.
To make your younger self proud, you'll need to once again make a trip to Chile or Argentina in time for 14 December 2020.
Totality for 2020's total eclipse is visible further south than the 2019 eclipse, but you can definitely stay in the same places and still not have to drive too far to get there.
If you're really looking for an adventurous spot to see your 2020 total eclipse, why not trek to San Martin de los Andes at the foot of the Andes mountain range. Remember to rug up!
Eclipses in 2021
Everyone deserves a second chance, but if you wait too long, you might miss your shot.
While there is a total solar eclipse in 2021, seeing it is going to be more difficult than you might expect.
The path of totality for the 4 December 2021 eclipse goes right over the Antarctic Peninsula.
Thankfully, December falls at the start of tourism season for Antarctica, when cruises are most likely to depart for the winter wonderland.
Check out our look into Antarctic travel for more information on how to get there.
And whatever you do, don't forget to pack your eclipse glasses.
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